No. of Recommendations: 20
Where do I start?
To have a go at being eco-friendly without breaking the bank make a start with just 3 products:- :
1. White Soap (Asda do 4 for 89p or 29p each )
2. Distilled White Vinegar (65p in Asda – buy 2 bottles)
3. Washing soda Crystals (52p in Asda)

For less than £3.00 you'll be able to make a month's supply of:-
· Laundry Gloop
· Toilet Cleaner
· General Purpose Cleaner for Kitchen and Bathroom
· Toilet Cleaner
· Kettle Descaler
· Shampoo gloop

I've used the symbol above to clearly mark those recipes which only need the 3 “essential ingredients” to get you started.
The essential oils suggested in this guide are all optional so you don't have to buy these straight away.

Will I need any special equipment?

Keep your old liquid soap pumps/plastic spray bottles etc and replace each product with the eco-friendly version as it runs out.

Sodium bi-carb – where can I get it?
I've not yet found a High Street Shop in the UK that does decent sizes of sodium bi-carb. For this you will need to go online, there is a section at the back of this guide that gives you some suggested online retailers. You may find it easier to get good deals on essential oils in larger sizes online too.
Essential Oils - which ones do I start with ?
If you start with Lavender (baby safe) and tea tree (anti bac, anti fungal properties) they will probably see you through most uses.
Any other oils you'd recommend?
Peppermint/Lemon are nice in the kitchen & bathroom
I like sweet orange for the scent and cos it's one of the cheapest essential oils to buy in quantity ; ) It's lovely used in both cosmetic recipes and the bathroom/kitchen cleaners. - Do not use for Gloop as sweet orange oil may stain clothes.

Where there are specific oils that you might like for a particular recipe I've mentioned them.


1. This is an area where being more eco-friendly can also money!

Gloop Recipe – No more Detergent

You will need:

A large tub capable of holding about 4 litres, with a good fitting lid (or a few smaller tubs) to store gloop
A big pan
1 bar unscented white soap - something like Simple or an own-brand sensitive skin soap – Asda 29p bar is good
1/2 cup washing soda crystals - usually on the cleaning aisle of the supermarket
4 litres hot water
Optional:- About 20 drops of a suitable essential oil. I use lavender but any oils safe for children will be fine. ½ Tea Tree, ½ lavender is a good combination for nappies etc

To Make

Put the water in the pot and bring to the boil. Grate the soap and once the water has boiled, add the soap and turn the heat down. Stir until all the soap has dissolved. Take off the heat and add the soda crystals stirring until they have dissolved as well. Leave to cool until you can safely handle it, then decant into your tub(s) and add essential oils.

To use

Use about half a teacup for each load.
You can add a dose of Ecover laundry bleach if things get a little grey – this will brighten things up again.

To avoid problems with the gloop and machine blockages:- It is HIGHLY recommended that you put the gloop directly into the drum not the drawer. If the gloop sets hard, chop it into small pieces so that it melts easier. Adding a ½ a cup distilled white vinegar to the final rinse will also help prevent any problems.

Laundry Powder
1 Cup Grated White Soap (Asda 29p??)
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
For light load, use 1 tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.
Nice alternative to gloop when you can't be bothered to mix up a batch/are travelling.

Fabric Softener
2 Cups White Vinegar
2 Cups Baking Soda
4 Cups Water
Combine slowly and carefully over sink. The baking soda and vinegar will fizz.
Pour into plastic bottle, cover, and shake.
*Hint - Reuse your "Lenor" bottle.
Use 1/4 cup in the final rinse or in a "laundry ball".

Ironing water
2 desertspoons Orange Blossom water
up to 1 litre water
pour ingredients into 1 litre drinks bottle (I use an old tonic water bottle)
The orange blossom water can be obtained anywhere they sell vietnamese/chenese ingredients - look in oriental sections of sainsburys or in specialist chinese food shops.
It only costs about 50 - 60p for 1/4 litre so is a really cost effective way of scenting your laundry. You could also use rosewater approx £1.35 from Boots
Stain remover For Heavily Stained Nappies:-
**NOTE: This is for use with white cotton, nylon and polyester only.
1/2 Cup Gloop
1/2 Cup Washing soda crystals
1/2 Cup Ecover Bleach
Soak nappies in bucket overnight or until stains disappear. Launder as usual.
You can also use these products alone to remove stains:
Plain White Vinegar
Hydrogen Peroxide
· Nappy wipes solution for sore bums – cooled chamomile tea also works well for sunburn.


Most nappy buckets have a place for a deodorant disk in the lid, or you can use a mesh tablet bag hung from the inside of the lid if like me you just use an ordinary poundstretcher bucket.

You can make these disks yourself for pennies . You will need:

distilled or boiled water (approx 1 cup)
baking soda (2 cups)
your choice of essential oils (tea tree and lavender both work well )
a muffin pan
paper muffin cups

1.Add a few drops of essential oil to a small amount of water.

2. Mix the water with 2 cups of baking soda. Mix well.

3. Gradually add and mix more water until you have a thick paste.

4. Press about ½" of paste into each muffin paper and let dry 24 hours.

To use:-

keep the discs in an airtight tupperware container still in the paper so that they don't lose their effectiveness until you are ready to use each one.

Tear the paper off. After you've used each disk for a month or so (however long you find it effective), crumble the disk into the diaper wash. Baking soda deodorizes and softens the nappies.
Stain remover for oil stains
Baby Powder
Coca Cola
For a cotton item: - Baby powder or cornflour on a fresh stain. Leave for 24 hours +, in order to dry up and draw out grease. Then wash as normal.
Seems to be ok on polyester or acrylic as well, but less likely to stain on these anyway.
Other method involves soaking in coca cola - but use the 'full strength' stuff as the sugar is part of what makes it acidic enough to work. Leave for a few hours then rinse clean and wash as normal. Again, pick your cloth carefully.

General Household

How to clear smelly or blocked drains:

1/2 Cup Washing soda crystals
1/2 Cup Salt
1/2 Cup white vinegar

Just tip ingredients down drain and stand back!
General purpose Cleaner for kitchen/bathroom:-

For the bathroom:-

This recipe can also be used in the kitchen but be sure to rinse food prep surfaces after use.
1/2 a cup washing soda crystals,
few drops fave essential oil
tablespoon vinegar (leave out if you live in a soft water area)
1 litre water (or fill up old spray cleaning container)

An alternative for the kitchen (where you are coming into contact with food.)

Same as above just use bicarb (safe on worktops if you roll out pastry etc on them) instead of washing soda + teatree instead of fave essential oil (anti fungal/anti bac properties more useful around food)
Oven Cleaner
Spread thin layer of sodium bicarb over oven base spray base and sides with a little water till a thin paste – leave for an hour then wipe off. Or mix paste in bowl and then apply. For stubborn stains add a little white vinegar direct to the site – will fizz on contact with the bicarb. Again leave for ½ an hour then wipe off.

Toilet Cleaner

½ Cup washing Soda Crystals
½ Cup white vinegar

Throw both ingredients down toilet, soda crystals first then leave over night to “fizz”.

Kettle Descaler

½ a cup of white vinegar
1 cup of tap water

Add ingredients to kettle and switch on. Allow water to boil but switch off just before it boils. Leave for 5 mins. Rinse kettle and use as normal. Repeat it if is really bad.

Fabric Freshener

A couple of tablespoons of bicarb + a few drops of your fave essential oil (use lavender around v. young babies) in a plant spay bottle full of water makes a great alternative to “Febreeze” or a commercial Fabric Freshener

Cheap Tips to make things go further etc

Washing up:-

· Add a teaspoon bicarb to the washing up bowl – you'll need less liquid!

· Sand – makes a good pan scourer in an emergency

· Soak a burnt pan in a dilute solution of soda crystals in order to rescue (or you can use washing powder)

Vinegar Tips

· Add a spoonful of vinegar to cooking water to keep cauliflower white after cooking.
· Keep cheese fresh longer by wrapping it in a vinegar-soaked cloth and store in a sealed container.
· Any kind of vinegar added to your rinse cycle will leave your clothes extra clean, brighter and fresher smelling
· If your clothes have been left a little long in the washing machine and have a slight smell to them spray with a mix of 50/50 vinegar and water and line dry, the smell disappears.
· Clean windows with a mix of vinegar and water. Use newspaper (non glossy) to wipe with and you'll have a sparkling streak free window
· To clean even the worst hardened paint brushes simmer in gently boiling vinegar for a few minutes then wash in hot soapy water.
· Pour boiling vinegar down drains to unclog and clean them, for badly blocked drains add some bicarbonate of soda after the vinegar...stand back this foams up a lot; fun for the kids to watch and it cleans the drains very well
· To clear up congestion, inhale a vapour from a steaming pot containing water and several spoonfuls of vinegar.
· Add a spoonful of vinegar when cooking fruit to improve the flavour.
· when making stock using bones add a tablespoon of vinegar as this helps draw the calcium from the bones for more nutritious soup.
Bicarbonate of Soda Tips
· Make a paste with bicarb and water to clean the marks off walls. It takes pencil marks and children's fingerprints right off.
· Bicarb works great for heartburn, simply add a wee bit on the tip of a teaspoon to a small glass of water, mix well and drink. With such a low concentration you don't even taste the bicarb though you may need to add a bit more for a severe case; this is much less expensive than Rennies or Gaviscon.
· Bicarb makes a great Coffee Maker Cleaning Mix. Just mix 1 cup warm water and 4 Tablespoons bicarb. Let this drip through the coffee maker. Follow with a pot of plain water to rinse. This will keep your coffee maker clean and fresh.
· Kettle Cleaner- Remove rust stains and mineral deposits from your kettle. Simply fill the kettle with water and add 2 Tablespoons of baking soda and the juice of half a lemon. Bring to a boil 3 times then rinse kettle well.
· Easy Toilet Cleaner- Sprinkle ½ box of baking soda into the toilet cistern once a month. Let it stand overnight before flushing. The cistern and the bowl will be both clean and dessential oildorized.
· To clean brushes and combs fill sink with hot water and 4 Tablespoons bicarb. Watch the dirt and oil dissolve away!
· To make underarm dessential oildorant sprinkle bicarb under your arms. Even after shaving it won't irritate your skin.
· Bicarb Breath Freshener- Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of bicarb into a cup of water and rinse. It will eliminate garlic, onion and even morning breath! or Make your own mouthwash by combining 1 teaspoon of bicarb, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 cup of water. Add a few drops of flavouring if desired.
· Bicarb Tooth Whitener- Mix 1 teaspoon bicarb with ½ teaspoon of lemon juice. Using a face cloth, apply it to your teeth, brush clean with water and rinse. Coffee and tea stains will disappear! (NOTE: This is an occasional treatment only. Lemon juice contains a lot of acid and shouldn't be overused, or used alone. Combined with bicarb the acid is buffered and won't destroy the tooth's enamel)
· Bicarb helps clear up a stuffy nose, just add a teaspoon of baking soda to a pot of boiling water. Cover head with a towel and lean over pot and slowly inhale steam. Clear your nasal passages and clear your pores at the same time!

Personal Hygiene
Liquid Soap

You will need:-

½ bar white soap (same as you use for gloop) (29p)
1 litre water
¼ Boots bottle of Glycerin (£1.35 a bottle)
Few drops sweet orange oil (my current fave just use your fave scented oil) or maybe tea tree if you want anti-bac properties

Alternatively you could use ½ cup olive or almond oil

A couple of old handwash containers to use as pumps.
A large pan

To make:-

You make this in exactly the same way as gloop. Add essential oils and glycerine after the mixture has cooled.

To use:-

As normal liquid soap – keep a dispenser by the kitchen sink. If it hardens ass a little boiling water and shake. Use as normal.

Glycerine is highly flammable so ensure soap and water is cool to the touch (it's safest to add when it has begun to gel) before adding to mixture!

Budget Bath Bombs
You will need:-
1 cup citric acid
2 cups baking soda
Witch hazel
Few drops of your favourite essential oil

Spray bottle
Cling film

Food colouring

To make:-

Blend the citric acid and baking soda really thoroughly in a large non-metallic bowl. Add a few drops of food colouring if you wish and blend again. Add your essential oil (the amount depends on personal preference) and blend again.

Pour a little Witch Hazel into your spray bottle. Use this to spray your ingredients while you stir. You may want to ask someone to assist you at this stage.

When the mixture begins to stick together spoon it onto sections of cling film and very quickly twist and seal into balls. Do this quickly before the mixture turns hard.

Let dry for 3-4 hours at normal room temperature. When you unwrap them you'll find you have wonderful, hard bath bombs just waiting to fizzle as soon as you add them to your bath.

If you like you can use moulds instead of cling film, perhaps if you would like to make a batch as a gift for someone.

Points to note:-

Do not the mixture become too wet when adding the Witch Hazel or the mixture will begin to fizzle before it gets anywhere near a bath tub!

Pack the bath bombs as tightly as you can so that they set really hard into the cling film/ or moulds – this gives the best results. The most effective bath bombs are very hard before you add them to your bath.

To use:-

Just add a bomb to your bath and enjoy!
Moisturising Bath Bombs
Dry ingredients:
1 cup Baking soda
1/2 cup Corn Starch
1/4 cup Epsom Salt
1/2 cup Citric Acid
Wet ingredients:
2-3/4 tablespoons Almond oil
3/4 tablespoon Water
1-1/2 teaspoon fragrance oil or essential oil (Lavender and Rose are good for dry skins, and usually non-irritant)
2. Colorant

Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and then in a separate dish or cup mix wet ingredients and then combine the two.I uuse a wire wisk....the mix doesnt really even look wet but it compacts nicely into molds and after drying through the night they are rock hard and fizz for almost 2 minutes.

Make sure to wisk fast when adding wet ingredients to prevent fizzing whisk for a good minute and then press mix into your mold.
Sugar, Salt and Nut Scrub
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup ground oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup almond oil
fragrance or essential oil – to your own preference

Optional :- Add 2 tablespoons of honey for an extra-moisturizing scrub.

Mix almond oil and fragrance or essential oil together in a glass bowl. Add the sugar, finely ground almonds and salt together in a separate bowl and mix thoroughly together. Add this mixture to the almond oil. Mix well with your hands to incorporate and you're done!
Posh Milk Bath
The options for this one are endless – experiment according to your own tastes and budget.

You will need:-

Main Ingredient

2 cups powdered milk (dry) – use skimmed milk powder as it gives the best results.

Scented ingredients :-

1 tbsp. dried orange peel
2 tsp. dried lavender flowers
2 tsp. dried rosemary

Other scented Options:-

Option 1 ½ Vanilla Pod, crushed
1tbs dried cinnamon

Option 2 2 tbs dried chamomile
2tbs dried rose petals

Budget Option:- A few drops of your fave essential oil

Mix powdered milk and your choice of scented ingredients together and pour into a clear glass bottle or jar. Use 1/2 cup of the mixture per bath - soak for 20 minutes. Tie a ribbon and a sprig of dried flowers to the jar for a ready gift!
Green Tea Toner

You will need:-

1 teaspoon powdered green tea
1/2 cup witch hazel

To make:-
Mix green tea with witch hazel until thoroughly mixed. Apply toner mixture with cotton pad to face. Do not rinse.

Oil-Free Moisturiser

You will need:

5 Tablespoons aloe vera gel
1 Tablespoon pure glycerine
a few drops essential oil of your choice (add a few drops at a time to avoid over-scenting)

To make:

Shake to combine. Add any fragrance you like if you don't want to add essential oil.
Suggested Oils:- Lavender for sensitive skin, Rose for very dry skin

Baby's Bum Balm
half a block of crisp and dry veg lard, room temp.
2 oz cooled chammomile tea
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspons lime juice.
Blend together and keep in an airtight jar, out of the light. If too thick to scoop out, add more cooled boiled water or the tea til consistency is how you like it. if too thin, add a bit more crsisp and dry. Apply very thinly to clean skin

Shampoo's & Hair Products
Shampoo base (gloop)
I have two recipes for shampoo base - I call it a gloop. It will keep almost indefinitely so is a great store cupboard standby. You can then make up the shampoo according to your specific needs over the year (ie. A batch of lice shampoo to deter unwanted guests from your kid's scalps, or a greasy shampoo for summer)
Natural Soap Gloop
For the purist
- uses Soapwort root, which is obtainable from good health food stores.
Take 12 grms Soapwort root and crush or pulverize very well
2 litres of spring water Boil the water and pour over the soapwort.
Leave to infuse for 24 hours then filter though filter paper or very fine muslin then bottle in jars or bottles
Traditional Soap Gloop
For the budget conscious

Take either 100 grms of unperfumed soap flakes or 100 grms of pure white Soap which has been finely grated ( that 29p Asda bar again)
1 Litre of spring water
Bring the water to simmering point and add one of the above, and stir until totally dissolved.
Allow cooling and then bottling as above.
Just one note about this gloop it does become lumpy with age but as the other ingredients are added in a blender it doesn't matter.

Shampoos (made using shampoo gloop)
You will need one of the Soap gloops and a blender!
Normal Hair:
Add to 100 ml of soap gloop
4 Drops of Geranium essential oil
4 drops of lemon essential oil
4 drops of borage essential oil
Dry hair:
225 ml soap gloop
2 teaspoons almond oil
10 drops of jojoba oil
2 drops of Sandalwood essential oil
2 drops of lavender essential oil
Greasy Hair:
100 ml Soap gloop
10 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
Anti head lice shampoo:
100 ml Soap gloop
10 drops Tea tree essential oil
5 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
All you have to do is put the ingredients together in a blender and whizz on high for about 30 seconds putting the drops of essential oil through the hole in the top. Bottle up and use.
Just a note if you use the Soapwort base you need to use about double the amount of gloop listed above to produce a good lather on the hair.

Special Treatment for Head Lice
It is totally natural and doesn't damage the hair or scalp unlike many of the commercial chemical preparations. It also works well in conjunction conjunction with the Anti Head Lice Shampoo.
Head Lice will only attach themselves to squeaky clean hair, if you put conditioners after washing on with neat Tea Tree essential oil, it prevents reinfestation.
You will need a 100 ml brown glass bottle.
Take 100 ml of Vegetable oil I use Olive oil, but any type will do as long as it doesn't contain any mineral oil.
To this you add 20 Drops of Lemon essential oil
20 drops of Rosemary essential oil
20 drops of Tea tree oil.
Shake very well.
How to use.
Comb hair with nit comb, and massage 1 tablespoon into the hair and comb well so that some is on the skin as well. Now the bit you may not like, it must be left on for 24 hours. Next morning wash hair and rinse with Tea Tree (2 Drops in warm water) Comb hair again This may be repeated for up to 3 days, by then all the lice will have gone.
The three essential oils are insect repellents, and the rosemary oil kills them.

To ensure your children don't get repeats of infection only wash their hair once a week, and after washing use a leave-in conditioner mixed with three drops of neat tea tree oil, they will never get them again.

Anti- Frizz Hair Treatment
You will need:-

1 cup of oats (to make your extract)
2 cups of hot water
1 cup of white vinegar
2 cups of water

To make:-

Put the oats in a bowl and pour the 2 cups of hot water over it, stir. Let this mixture sit overnight.(up to 3 days at room temp.) This will make your oatmeal extract.
When you are ready to make your recipe, get a clean bowl out and lay the cheesecloth inside with the edges hanging out. Pour the oatmeal mixture in. Gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze out the oatmeal "juice" into the bowl. Add the vinegar and the 2 cups of water. Pour into a container. Use as a rinse after you wash your hair.

Anti-Chlorine Hair Treatment:-

If you hair gets a greenish tint From Pool chemicals and chlorine often in your pool, this usually is a reaction between the copper water pipes and chlorine in the pool, use the following recipe to restore your natural color!

You will need:-

2 Tbsp baking soda
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp mild shampoo


Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Wet hair and massage with mixture; making sure all the ends are coated. Cover head with a plastic bag or shower cap, and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse, and shampoo as usual

Note:- for Afro/very dry hair add ½ cup anti-frizz hair treatment to counteract dryness or follow up with the anti-frizz treatment as a rinse.

For Blokes
Homemade Aftershave

You will need:-

1/4 cup witch hazel
1/2 cup distilled water
3 drops benzoin oil
1 tbsp olive/almond oil
few drops of your fave essential oils such as:
lavender (ideal for sensitive skin)
rosemary, sage.
Citrus oils:- such as orange or lemon oils (sweet orange oil is one of the cheapest to buy in bulk – you may want to add it to your household cleaners)
Spicy -such as cinnamon, cloves (if using clove be very sparing as it has strong anesthetic properties!)

To make:-

Combine ingredients in a glass jar or bottle. Cover and place in a dark fairly cool place. Shake the jar once or twice a day for 2 - 3 weeks. Store in the fridge!

Soothing Aftershave

You will need:-

1/2 cup witch hazel
2 Tbs vodka
2 Tbs dried chamomile flowers

To make:-

Mix all ingredients and place in a jar. Let the mixture sit in a cool, dark place for 15 days. At the end of this time, strain the liquid through a funnel lined with a paper towel or a coffee filter. Discard the solids. Put the liquid in a clean bottle. Splash on your face after shaving.

Shop for Supplies
Borax – Boots - £1.99
Rosewater - Boots (use for Ironing water) £1.35
Provender natural essence orange flower - £1.14 – Tescos (use for Ironing water)
Provender natural essence Rose water - £1.14 - Tescos (use for Ironing water)
Washing Soda – Tesco's or Asda approx 52 p a bag. You can also buy liquid soda crystals for about £1.49 – though I prefer to make my own sol' – it's cheaper!
White soap – Asda 29p white family soap does a great job. All the supermarkets do something similar – you are looking for an “own brand” Simple type soap.
Ecover Bleach – Boots (comes in a box not a bottle!)
Glycerin - Boots - £1.35
Almond Oil – Tesco's – 80p
Websites for Supplies:-
Boots no longer sell bicarb in store so the only way to get this now is online. (watch their couriers carefully as they are not great.)
Beauty Recipe Sites
Cleaning Recipe Sites

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